Want the real scoop on cruising, about the things that might be a little ‘adult’ to discuss? We’re talking about getting busy on the balcony, what to know about alcohol packages, and even going topless — or more — on a cruise ship.
Well then buckle up, because we’re diving into naughty tips and things to know about your next cruise…
Do Something Bad? Expect it to Be on Social Media
Let’s start with perhaps the most important tip for anyone thinking of behaving badly on a cruise: Do not do anything in public, unless you want to be the next social media viral hit.
It seems like almost weekly there is some video of passengers behaving badly on ships. These days, everyone has a video recorder in their pocket and most people on the cruise ship even have internet access. So despite being hundreds of miles at sea, your bad moment can go around the world. Yes, what happens in international waters doesn’t always stay in international waters.
Whether it’s a person urinating in a cabin hallway, someone catching a fish off the side of the ship, or a fight that happens onboard, these have all made headlines. Behave yourself and you have nothing to worry about. Do something you’re not supposed to, and well, you might not ever live it down.
Certain Prescriptions Are Available in Port
Suppose there’s a certain prescription pill you’ve always wanted to try (say, it’s a little blue pill) but you’ve always had the embarrassment or the cost of visiting a doctor keep you from getting it in the United States. Or maybe you already have a prescription, but the costs are astronomical.
In that case, one tip to know is that most cruise ports in places like Mexico have pharmacies where you can get certain medicines for much cheaper or even without a prescription. That includes a lot of the medicines known for helping in the bedroom and many more.
Now, we’re not suggesting you go take stuff you aren’t supposed to be taking. This is your health we’re talking about after all. But we will never forget being on an excursion in Cozumel making small talk with someone we just met. She was very open and said she always came into port and stocked up on diet pills that she couldn’t get back home.
What to Know About Balcony Sex
If you’re a couple on a romantic vacation and you have a private balcony cabin with an amazing view, it doesn’t take much imagination to think about what might happen next.
And in case you are of that mindset, there are a few things you should know. First off, there is a light switch for your balcony, usually somewhere near the door, but it can be hard to find. So if you walk out at night and the balcony light is on, there is a way to turn it off. Your neighbor’s light? Well, you can’t do anything about that.
As well, while it is a private balcony, there are typically spaces at the bottom of the dividers and there are sometimes gaps between the partitions on the sides. Plus, sometimes the glass wall that’s on the balconies can reflect into the balcony next door, giving anyone an eyeful even if they aren’t trying.
So, if you’re going to do adult things on your balcony, we’d suggest waiting until after dark, with the light turned off, and try to keep the noise to a minimum while you have fun.
Want to Party? Go Short on Your Cruise
Let’s say you want to get wild on your cruise. You want to let loose, stay up late, have the drinks flowing. You don’t want a relaxing vacation, you want a party, and you want the rest of the ship to be in that mood as well.
In that case, the best tip is head out on a short cruise — the shorter the better, preferably from a spot like Miami. Let’s just say that three day trips from Miami to the Caribbean will have a very different vibe than a 7-day cruise from Seattle to Alaska.
If you do want to go on a short cruise and relax, yes, that’s still possible. It’s not going to be like Vegas. But the atmosphere definitely is more focused on non-stop fun if you’re looking for that.
What to Know About Hooking Up on Your Cruise
Most people are going to take a cruise with their significant other. But there are still plenty of people that travel single, and well, they might be looking for a hookup.
If you’re in that group, there are a couple of things to know. For one, the cruise line often has singles meetups. They aren’t anything too formal, just a scheduled time and place listed in the ship’s daily planner for anyone interested in mingling. If you’re looking for single people to meet… and maybe more… there’s no better spot to get your feet wet. Of course, you can always meet someone at one of the bars, excursions, and any other spot on the cruise.
That said, if you do hook up with someone remember that it’s a small world on a cruise ship. Say you do have a fling with someone that well, you don’t really want to see again. In that case, you’ll definitely be looking over your shoulder the rest of the vacation.
Drinking Age in Port May Be Lower Than on the Ship
One tip about drinking ages if you’re under 21, or traveling with someone who is under 21. On the ship, you won’t be able to drink if you’re cruising from North America. The drinking age onboard is 21, just as it is in the United States. Europe and Australia, it’s usually 18.
But if you are 18, 19, or 20 and want a beer or cocktail you aren’t out of luck. That’s because the drinking age in many countries that cruises visit is 18 years old. So if you go to The Bahamas or Mexico, you only need to be 18 to purchase and consume alcohol.
That means you may not be able to buy a beer on the cruise ship, but you can simply walk off in port, head to the nearest bar, and drink up.
What to Know About Skimpy Swimsuits
Let’s talk about your tan, or more accurately, your lack of tan lines on a cruise. If you’re concerned about swimsuit options being too revealing, it’s likely they will be just fine.
Thong swimsuits are perfectly fine on a cruise ship and depending on where you cruise from, you’ll see plenty of other people wearing them around the ship. Head on a cruise from Miami, and they are widely worn. Sail from a place like Galveston and they may be around, but in much smaller numbers.
That’s the bottom half, what about the top half?
Well, it used to be that sunbathing topless at sea was a thing. Those days, however, are long gone… in most cases. Sail Carnival or Royal Caribbean or some other mass market line, and no, you can’t sunbathe without your top. However, one cruise line does actually allow it.
Virgin Voyages — which is adults only — actually does offer a spot to sunbathe sans your top. According to their website, “We have a beautiful sun deck on Deck 17, called The Perch, where you can feel comfortable sunbathing topless at sea.”
Nude Cruises Are a Real Thing
Speaking of swimsuits — or the lack of them — what if you don’t want any tan lines at all? Believe it or not, you can cruise nude.
To be sure, these aren’t just normal cruises. So if you’re booking a cruise, you don’t have to worry about accidentally booking a trip, showing up on embarkation day and finding that everyone is in their birthday suit.
Instead, some companies charter ships, meaning they book the entire ship and then re-sell the rooms. Meanwhile, they have the power to revolve the cruise around a theme. There are chartered cruises for lots of themes, usually around music. But there are also trips that offer nude cruising.
Specifically, a company called Bare Necessities offers a trip called the Big Nude Boat. The next cruise is aboard Carnival Pride in February, sailing from Tampa to Mexico and Honduras. Onboard, outside of a few spots like the dining room, clothing is completely optional.
How to Know if a Drink Package Is Worth it
Let’s talk about drink packages and let’s be real. Are they worth it?
The generic answer we usually give is that it depends. You’ll want to do the math based on how much you drink normally versus the cost of the package. Keep in mind that some days you’ll be out in port and not able to use the package.
The real answer, though? Are you the sort of person who isn’t on vacation unless you have a drink in your hand? Then it’s worth it. If having 3-4 drinks a night is just a typical day for you, then you’ll get your money’s worth.
But if you can only drink heavily for a couple of days before you need a break, then you’re likely not going to come out ahead on the cost.
Put it another way, if the idea of “all you can drink” gets you excited, then yeah, it’s likely that you’re the sort of person that’s going to come out ahead with the drink package.
Crime on Cruise Ships Does Happen
One thing you should know is that overall, your cruise is going to be safe. But with millions traveling on cruise ships every year, yes incidents do happen. That’s why it pays to keep your wits about you.
It seems like every few months, you hear awful incidents of people falling — or jumping — overboard on a ship. Often, this seems to happen in the middle of the night and unfortunately, many of these folks don’t make it. That’s uncommon but does happen.
But crime can also occur on the ship, though it’s pretty rare. The FBI and Department of Transportation keeps tabs on cases of major crimes on ships. By far the most reported crime is sexual assault, albeit at a rate of about one-third what’s seen on land. Still, in 2022, there were dozens of cases of sexual assault reported across U.S. sailing cruise lines.
Given the massive amounts of cruise passengers each year, the chances of you being a victim are pretty low. Still, it doesn’t hurt to be aware of your surroundings and make smart decisions.
Don’t Leave Your Toys or Outfits Out
This is one that I’ve mentioned in another video before, but it’s a tip you definitely want to hear. You’re on vacation, and maybe to celebrate with your significant other, you bring an outfit for the bedroom. Or maybe you bring a toy to spice things up. Or maybe there’s some alcohol that you brought on board that you shouldn’t have.
No matter what it is, if you have something that you don’t want someone else to see, be sure to put it away before you leave the room.
While the cabin is your own private space, it will be visited by the room steward. So you may leave something out, go out to the pool, and the room steward comes by to clean the room. Let’s just say that if you have something out that you didn’t want them to see, it might make for some awkward moments the next time you bump into them in the hallway. If it’s something dangerous or illegal, then it’s likely going to be reported.
What to Know About Gambling on a Cruise
If you cruise, then one big draw in the evening is going to be the casino. Every ship will have one, and when the ship is at sea — especially later in the night — it’s going to be hopping.
Cruise casinos are unique, however, and there are things you should know before you play.
First, casinos are usually only open when the ship is in international waters. So if you’re expecting to play the moment you step onboard, think again.
They also offer all the games you’d expect, including slots, blackjack, craps, and roulette. But they also have some games you don’t see on land. This includes the claw games but instead of stuffed animals, there are stacks of cash. Then there are the key games but you win money instead of electronics. Just know that while these games might seem like skill, they do have luck involved. For instance, skill cranes can be set to only allow enough grip to pick up an object occasionally. Other times, the grippers just slide right off.
Finally, if you want to cash out some cruise lines make it harder than others. For instance, if you’re playing a machine on Carnival and hit cash out… but don’t have your keycard inserted into the machine to track your pay, then you have to be hand paid. If you do have the card in, the money goes to your card and then you have to go to the cashier to get actual cash. Compared to the typical cashout vouchers, we actually think it’s a pretty big pain.